Cucumber sushi, also known as "kappa maki." This is a simple and refreshing sushi roll that's perfect for vegetarians or anyone looking for a light and healthy sushi option.
For the sushi rice:
- 1 cup sushi rice
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the cucumber filling:
- 1 large cucumber
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For assembling the sushi rolls:
- 10 sheets of nori (seaweed)
- Soy sauce, for dipping
- Pickled ginger, for serving
- Wasabi, for serving (optional)
1. Rinse the rice: Place the sushi rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it under cold running water until the water runs clear. This will help remove excess starch and prevent the rice from becoming too sticky. Drain well.
2. Cook the rice: In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed rice and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for an additional 10 minutes to steam.
3. Prepare the sushi vinegar: In a small saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Heat over low heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Allow it to cool.
4. Season the rice: Transfer the cooked rice to a large wooden or glass bowl. While the rice is still hot, drizzle the sushi vinegar mixture over it. Use a wooden spatula or rice paddle to gently fold and mix the vinegar into the rice. Be gentle to avoid smashing the rice grains. Allow the seasoned rice to cool to room temperature.
5. Prepare the cucumber filling: Peel the cucumber and slice it into long, thin strips. Sprinkle the cucumber slices with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and let them sit for about 10 minutes to draw out excess moisture. Pat the cucumber slices dry with a paper towel.
6. Assemble the sushi rolls: Lay a bamboo sushi rolling mat on a clean, flat surface and cover it with plastic wrap to prevent sticking. Place a sheet of nori, shiny side down, on the mat.
7. Wet your hands to prevent the rice from sticking, and take a handful of sushi rice (about 1/2 cup). Spread the rice evenly over the nori, leaving about 1 inch of nori at the top edge uncovered.
8. Place a few cucumber strips horizontally in the center of the rice.
9. Carefully lift the edge of the bamboo mat closest to you and start rolling the nori, rice, and cucumber away from you. Use firm but gentle pressure to shape the roll.
10. Continue rolling until you reach the uncovered edge of nori. Moisten the exposed nori edge with a little water and press to seal the roll.
11. Use a sharp knife dipped in water to slice the cucumber sushi roll into bite-sized pieces. Wipe the knife clean between cuts for neater slices.
12. Serve the cucumber sushi with soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi on the side.
Enjoy your homemade cucumber sushi rolls!